How To Install Roof Shingles

Welcome to Ernie’s Roofing! As a licensed contractor from a third generation family of contractors, we are here to provide you with a comprehensive guide on efficiently installing roof shingles in Denver. With our expertise and experience since 1978, we aim to share valuable tips and examples to ensure a successful shingle installation. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process and answer some frequently asked questions.


Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Roof Shingles

Step 1: Installing the Drip Edge

To begin the installation process, we recommend starting with the drip edge. Follow these steps:

  1. Begin with the eave on the far side and work your way to the corner.
  2. Install the drip edge about every 12 to 16 inches apart, ensuring it is securely fastened to the decking.
  3. Cut the bottom portion of the drip edge to allow for scissoring over the ridge.
  4. Avoid penetrating the front flange of the drip edge with nails, as they should not be visible from the ground.

Step 2: Installing Felt

Felt is an essential component in roof shingle installation. Follow these steps to install it correctly:

  1. Start installing felt from the bottom up, beginning at the eave.
  2. Ensure that the felt goes over the top of the drip edge to allow water to flow over it.
  3. Roll out the felt while one person holds it in place, and secure it using plastic caps.
  4. Shoot plastic caps along the eve or bottom of the felt every 8 to 16 inches, depending on wind conditions.
  5. Distribute plastic caps throughout the center, approximately every 16 inches.

Step 3: Installing Starter Strip

The starter strip is crucial for creating a solid base for your roof shingles. Here’s how to install it properly:

  1. Install the starter strip along the perimeter edge of the entire roof, ensuring it is positioned an eighth of an inch further than the drip edge.
  2. Overlap the shingles with the starter strip by another eighth of an inch, creating a quarter-inch overlap for a secure fit.
  3. Install four to five nails close to the tar line on the starter strip for higher wind protection.
  4. Cut six inches off the starter strip at the rake’s edge and the start of the eave to prevent water lines from overlapping with the shingles above.

Step 4: Installing Shingles

Now it’s time to install the shingles themselves. Follow these steps for a smooth installation:

  1. Start by installing the first shingle along the bottom of the eave and against the rake.
  2. Position the second shingle six inches in from the previous one, cutting off the edge and keeping it for later use.
  3. Lay the following shingle six inches further in, aligning it with the marked position and cutting down to size.
  4. Repeat the process, always maintaining the six-inch overlap and cutting off any excess shingle.
  5. Nail the shingles using the recommended spacing—usually an inch from the edge for the first nail and then following the manufacturer’s guidelines for subsequent nails.
  6. Install the shingles in a diagonal pattern, ensuring the lines do not overlap with the previous shingle.
  7. Shoot six nails on the windward side of the roof and five nails on the leeward side, or as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 5: Installing Ridge Cap

To complete the project and add a polished look to your roof, the ridge cap is the final touch. Follow these steps for proper installation:

  1. Begin by establishing a chalk line at the top of the roof to ensure a laser-straight alignment.
  2. Install each piece of ridge cap along the tar line, securing it with two nails on either side of the ridge.
  3. Scale across the top of the ridge, placing the ridge cap pieces until reaching the last shot.
  4. Cover the last shot with a piece of cut ridge cap, ensuring a seamless and professional appearance.

Step 6: Clean Up

After completing the installation of roof shingles, it’s crucial to perform a thorough clean-up to ensure customer satisfaction. Follow these clean-up steps:

  1. Remove any loose granules from the top of the roof, ensuring a clean and pristine surface.
  2. Clean up all debris and materials from the ground, leaving the property in a neat and tidy state.


Tips for Efficient Roof Shingle Installation in Denver

  1. Prioritize safety: Always follow safety guidelines, use appropriate protective gear, and work on stable surfaces.
  2. Plan ahead: Prepare the necessary materials, tools, and equipment before starting the installation process.
  3. Check the weather forecast: It’s best to install roof shingles during dry and calm weather conditions to ensure optimal adhesion and prevent damage.
  4. Follow manufacturer instructions: Read and adhere to the guidelines provided by the shingle manufacturer for the specific product you are using.
  5. Maintain consistency: Ensure consistent spacing, overlap, and nailing patterns throughout the installation process for a professional and uniform appearance.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long does it take to install roof shingles on an average-sized house?

The duration of the installation process depends on various factors, such as the size of the roof, complexity, and the number of crew members working. On average, it may take a few days to complete the installation.

2. Can I install roof shingles by myself, or should I hire a professional contractor?

While it is possible to install roof shingles on your own, it requires proper knowledge, skills, and safety precautions. Hiring a professional contractor, like Ernie’s Roofing, ensures a high-quality installation and minimizes the risk of errors or accidents.

3. What type of roof shingles are best for the Denver climate?

In Denver’s climate, it is advisable to choose roof shingles that are durable, resistant to extreme weather conditions, and provide adequate insulation. Asphalt composition shingles are a popular choice due to their affordability and versatility.

4. How often should roof shingles be inspected and maintained?

Roof shingles should be inspected at least once a year to check for any signs of damage, wear, or potential issues. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning debris and addressing minor repairs, can prolong the lifespan of your roof.

5. Does the installation of roof shingles come with a warranty?

Yes, reputable shingle manufacturers often provide warranties for their products. It is essential to review and understand the terms of the warranty, including any specific installation requirements, to ensure coverage in case of any issues.


Efficiently installing roof shingles in Denver requires careful planning, adherence to proper techniques, and attention to detail. As a licensed contractor with extensive experience, Ernie’s Roofing is committed to providing you with this comprehensive guide to ensure a successful installation. By following the step-by-step instructions, implementing our tips, and addressing common FAQs, you can achieve a durable and visually appealing roof for your Denver property.

Thank you for reading our detailed guide. We hope you found it valuable and informative. If you have found it helpful, we encourage you to reach out to Ernie’s Roofing for all your roofing, siding, and gutter needs. With our expertise since 1978, you can trust us to deliver high-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.

For ongoing updates, industry insights, and more valuable content, please support us by following Ernie’s Roofing on LinkedIn – Ernie’s Roofing LinkedIn

Remember, a well-installed roof is not only functional but also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal and value of your property. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any further assistance or to schedule a consultation.

Thank you for choosing Ernie’s Roofing, where quality and reliability meet all your roofing needs in Denver and beyond.

Note: This blog post serves as a general guide and may not cover every specific aspect of roof shingle installation. It is always recommended to consult with a professional contractor for your unique roofing requirements.


8am – 5pm
8am – 5pm
8am – 5pm
8am – 5pm
8am – 5pm
8am – 5pm


📞 720-346-ROOF📧💻

Contact Ernie's Roofing Now!

Upgrade your roof with Ernie’s Roofing and give it the care it deserves! Our team of experts is ready to revamp your roofing, ensuring that every shingle and tile is placed properly to enhance its impact and durability. Contact us today at (720) 346-7773 or visit our website at for more information about our service!

What’s New on The Blog

  • Hailstorm-Repair

    Hailstorm Repair

    Why Choose Ernie's Roofing When There Is a Hailstorm Repair   Hey there, friend! It’s Ernie here from Ernie’s Roofing.…
  • Roofing Contractor

    Roof Wind Damage Repair

    Roof Wind Damage Repair Ernie's Roofing, a trusted roofing contractor in Denver since 1978, presents a comprehensive guide to Roof…
  • Modified-Torch-Down-Roof

    Tips to DIY Roof Repair

    DIY Roof Repair: Essential Tips from Denver's Trusted Roofing Contractor Learn how to DIY roof repair with expert tips from…